Androgens regulate the immune/inflammatory response and cell survival pathways in rat ventral prostate epithelial cells

Endocrinology. 2006 Jan;147(1):257-71. doi: 10.1210/en.2005-0942. Epub 2005 Sep 29.


A major hurdle in understanding the role of androgens is the heterogeneity of androgen receptor (AR) expression in the prostate. Because the majority of prostate cancer arises from the AR-positive secretory luminal epithelial cells, identifying the androgen-mediated pathways in the prostate epithelium is of great significance to understanding their role in prostate pathogenesis. To meet this objective, the current study was designed to identify immediate-early genes expressed in response to the synthetic androgen R1881 in cultured rat ventral prostate epithelial cells. Rat ventral prostate epithelial cells, purified from 20-d-old rats, were cultured, and the presence of AR and the response to androgen were established. The cells were then treated with R1881 for 2 and 12 h to capture immediate-early genes in an Affymetrix-based gene chip platform. A total of 66 nonredundant genes were identified that were responsive to R1881. The functional androgen response elements were identified in the proximal promoter to determine possible molecular mechanism. Cluster analysis identified five distinct signatures of R1881-induced genes. Pathway analysis suggested that R1881 primarily influences cell proliferation/differentiation and inflammatory/immune response pathways. Androgens appear to regulate cell renewal by regulating differentiation, cell proliferation, and apoptosis. Two mutually exclusive inflammatory response pathways were observed. The interferon pathway was up-regulated, and the ILs were down-regulated. The data identified novel androgen-regulated genes (e.g. Id1, Id3, IL-6, IGF-binding protein-2 and -3, and JunB). The loss of androgen regulation of these genes can have important consequences for cellular transformation and transition to androgen-independent growth and survival.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Androgens / pharmacology*
  • Animals
  • Cell Culture Techniques
  • Cell Survival / drug effects*
  • Epithelial Cells / cytology*
  • Epithelial Cells / drug effects
  • Epithelial Cells / physiology
  • Expressed Sequence Tags
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Gene Expression Regulation / drug effects
  • Inflammation / physiopathology*
  • Male
  • Metribolone / pharmacology
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • Prostate / cytology*
  • Prostate / physiopathology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Receptors, Androgen / drug effects
  • Receptors, Androgen / physiology
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction


  • Androgens
  • Receptors, Androgen
  • Metribolone